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Taking care of yourself

14 Oct 2020

Students sitting outside

Starting university can be a wonderful and exciting experience but it is a massive step at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. 

Covid restrictions mean you can’t always do the things you would like to but it is important that you follow Government guidance to help yourself and others stay safe.

Your plans for the start of your student experience at UCLan may have changed with some social events and activities now online and you may be finding that getting your work done requires more self-motivation and energy than you anticipated.

It's natural to feel nervous or overwhelmed during the first few weeks at university, and it can be a while before you feel like you've found your feet.

All these feelings are completely normal, and while they might feel overwhelming, and you may think that you’re the only one going through this, we can assure you you’re not. These are the type of issues that the Student Services team supports students with daily and to help you cope and improve your emotional wellbeing, we have put together some top tips:

1. Talk to someone

Whether it’s a new or old friend or someone with experience, a problem shared can be a problem halved. The Student Services team have experience of helping hundreds of students with emotional support and practical advice and we can help with just about. You can find more resources and how to contact the team on the Student Support site, including our emergency out of hours details.

Over the years thousands of students have come to see us for a chat and a bit of help when they feel stuck and while we can’t meet in person at the moment, due to Covid restrictions, you can give us a call on the student hotline 01772 891828 or drop us an email at thei@uclan.ac.uk

We don’t just help with work and course related things, and we don’t just help people who are in crisis – we’d much prefer you talk to us before this ever happens. In some cases we may suggest you contact the student counselling service, but you can also refer yourself.

The Oasis Faith and Spirituality Centre also has Chaplains that are available to offer spiritual support and a listening ear to students of all faiths and none – including Muslim, Christian, Humanist, Jewish, Hindu, Baha’i, Sikh, Roman Catholic and Pagan. You can contact them by emailing oasis@uclan.ac.uk or you can join in one of the Oasis Teams sessions.

 

2. Keep active

During times of stress or change it might be tempting to eat badly, have more drinks than usual and stay up late – especially if you’re struggling with deadlines or juggling demands. But when you’re feeling this way it’s even more important to get a good seven to eight hours sleep a night, eat a healthy balanced diet, drink lots of water, and do some exercise.

 

Keep active by making the most of your free membership at Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre. The sports centre reopened at the start of term with additional safety measures and restricted capacity in place so you can exercise with confidence. As a student, you are entitled to free membership, which will give you access to a whole host of equipment and pre-bookable activities.

It’s also important to looking after your mental health and wellbeing. Our popular Well@UCLan workshops start at the end of October where you can learn tips and techniques to look after your wellbeing whilst studying. There’s also online mindfulness sessions, creative writing workshops and more.

 

3. Connect

You may be feeling weary of online sessions, but the online social activities and get-togethers are worth gritting your teeth for and showing up to. They are a starting point for you to meet people who you can then strike up friendships with.

Joining a sports club or a student-led society is a great way to get involved and make friends. Whether your interest is religion, cultural, political, academic, arts, media, performance or sports, with over 150 student groups here at UCLan, we have something for everyone. Clubs and societies are currently running but are following health and safety guidance or are meeting up online.

 

4. Keep learning

The transition to University studies can seem tough, but we have lots of support available to help you.

There’s also English language support if English isn’t your first language, and if you’re studying a foreign language and need extra help then the Worldwise Learning Centre could help you.

Whatever study support you need, we have a range if student services that can help and advise, so please get in touch.